NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Bill Cosby’s team blasted his sexual-assault trial as a “public lynching” and began looking ahead to an appeal as the judge ordered house arrest for the 80-year-old comedian and said he would be outfitted with a GPS ankle monitoring device.
Cosby’s appeal seems certain to focus on the judge’s decision to let a parade of women testify that they, too, were abused by the former TV star.
Defense allegations of a biased juror and the admission of Cosby’s explosive testimony about drugs and sex are among other possible avenues of appeal as he tries to avoid a sentence that could keep him in prison for the rest of his days.
Cosby remains free on $1 million bail while he awaits sentencing, probably within three months.
Judge Steven O’Neill said Cosby would be confined to his suburban Philadelphia home in the meantime. The judge’s order, issued Friday afternoon, said the comic may leave his house to meet with his lawyers or to get medical treatment, but must get permission first.
Cosby kept out of sight and was spending time with his wife of 54 years, Camille, in the wake of his conviction April 26 on charges he drugged and molested Temple University women’s basketball administrator Andrea Constand at his home outside Philadelphia in 2004.
Constand, meanwhile, took to Twitter to thank prosecutors in her first comment on the verdict.
“Truth prevails,” she wrote.
Cosby’s publicists likened the “Cosby Show” star to Emmett Till, the black teenager who was kidnapped and murdered after witnesses said he whistled at a white woman in a Mississippi grocery store in 1955. Constand is white.
“He maintains his innocence, and he is going to walk around as a man who’s innocent because he didn’t do anything wrong,” Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
The conviction triggered more fallout for Cosby, whose career and reputation were already wrecked by a barrage of accusations from more than 60 women who said he drugged and molested them over a span of 50 years.
Temple University, the Philadelphia school that counted Cosby as its most famous alum, revoked his honorary degree.
Cosby maintained close ties with Temple, serving as its public face and often turning out to support its basketball teams — an interest that connected him with Constand.
The defense is likely to focus its appeal on the judge’s decision to allow five additional accusers to testify. That ruling was a victory for prosecutors eager to move the case beyond a he-said, she-said.
One of those women called Cosby a “serial rapist.” Another choked back tears as she asked, “You remember, don’t you, Mr. Cosby?” A third declared: “I was raped.”
The women’s testimony introduced a “huge amount of prejudice and bias,” Cosby spokeswoman Ebonee Benson said on ABC.
Lawyers not connected with the case said the defense has a strong argument.
“I think that his lawyers have a very real chance at overturning the verdict,” said Christopher Adams, a defense attorney whose clients have included former NBA star Jayson Williams.